Wednesday, 22 July 2009

Xining - Lhasa Train Ride part 4

The scenic train ride finally stopped at Lhasa. While the passing views were gorgeous, not having to go out and feel the lovely outdoors was painful. As we ran into the final hour of reaching our stop, I was excited.

We had met some friendly people in our rail car and they were surprised that we are from Brunei. In fact, they were surprised that there are many Chinese people in Brunei. And, they were impressed that Chinese people from Brunei can speak Chinese, hahaha! I was surprised that they were surprised! We even met two persons who could speak Hakka, the dialect I speak at home! Apparently, there is a Hakka community in Guangzhou.

I was also surprised that there were so many local Chinese people who were visiting Tibet. In fact, I saw more Chinese tourists than tourists of other nationalities when I was in Tibet.

From the time I arrived at Chengdu to reaching Lhasa, I was constantly impressed with China's public infrastructure. The airports that I landed in and the railway stations are all big and modern. The roads are wide and tarred, some with four lanes or maybe more. The long railway between Qinghai and Tibet stretches across difficult and harsh terrains and the train is equipped with facilities. While the journey was tiring, it was nowhere near rough as compared to getting from Siam Reap to Battambang in Cambodia. But, I am glad that the sense of adventure never left despite its modern amenities.

I wonder if the other trains in China are just as well-furnished. I just saw a Trans-Siberian train from a website and it looked less accommodating. Hmm.. A journey to modern Siberia would be another adventure!

I was feeling so hungry when I saw one of my cabin mate making cup noodles. We had only bought a packet each for ourselves, and thought we could rely on the oat biscuits and the chocolates. But, when the smell of cup noodles filled up the room, I was definitely tempted. The Chinese beef cup noodles that we bought were delicious. So much so that when I finished mine, I was already yearning for seconds.

One of our last station before reaching Lhasa, Dang Xiong (Damxung). We were not allowed out, so people clogged up at the closed entrance door to take photos of the station

Tibetan lady in a field waving to us

Meanders in a valley

Houses in a distance in a valley near Yang Ba Jing

Beautifully covered with green valley

Herd of farm animals

Man cleaning his shaver. He was shaving earlier in the train as he walked along the corridor to admire the view.

Herd of sheeps by the farmhouses

Lady with a herd of yaks

Factory in front of the Nyainqêntanglha mountains

Silver crescent on top of the green mountain

The Nyainqêntanglha mountain range has many speaks that goes beyond 6000m above sea level and is located here in Dang Xiong (Damxung) county.

A mountain pass with a blue sign by the road

A farming village

Train at Lhasa Railway station with a cracked window

Welcoming gift of silk scarf by our tour guide

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